Category: Interesting

The Last Notes

Matador Life Comes Home
Matador Life Comes Home

Lila and I on the beach in Panama / Photo: Leigh ShulmanWhat can you expect now that Matador Life has a new editor?The best advice I ever received came from a wonderful woman I met while studying forest conservation in Brazil’s Mata Atlantica, a subtropical rainforest just outside of Rio de Janeiro.This woman, Amanda, is the sort whose presence makes you feel immediately at ease.

Is climate change a religion?
Is climate change a religion?

Photo: *AndrewTim Nicholson told the judge that his beliefs about the importance of climate change were so strong they bordered on religious. Judge Michael Burton agreed.It’s a ruling that sets a powerful precedent.Judge Michael Burton, the justice who ruled last year that Al Gore’s climate change documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” was “political and partisan,” ruled in a separate case earlier this week that:“ A belief in man-made climate change … is capable, if genuinely held, of being a philosophical belief for the purpose of the 2003 Religion and Belief Regulations.

Pivoting Backpacks: Black Diamond’s Octane
Pivoting Backpacks: Black Diamond’s Octane

The ultimate backpack contoured and designed to move with your body.New to the multi-hour-day-trip backpack lineup is Black Diamond’s Octane.Designed for short to long technical day trips, it’s equipped with Black Diamond’s ergoACTIV suspension. The weight is distributed continuously throughout the shoulders and applied to the pivoting weight straps.

Book Review: Pedaling Revolution
Book Review: Pedaling Revolution

Mapes’ book is best appreciated in contrast to its cinematic counterpart, Veer, a documentary claiming to cover all elements of bike culture. Unlike Veer, which never looks beyond Portland, Oregon, Mapes’ new book actually accomplishes its tagline.Mapes, a Portland-based journalist, looks far beyond the subcultures of his city to other urban areas such as Davis, Chicago, Minneapolis, and New York.

Twitter Giveaway Contest: Westin Travel Blanket
Twitter Giveaway Contest: Westin Travel Blanket

As part of the Matador Twitter contest, we will be spotlighting cool gear we’ll be giving away to lucky readers.This cozy machine washable blanket from Westin (yes, the hotel chain) is great for those who need those creature comforts while traveling. It opens up into a full sized blanket and folds up nicely, converting into a pillow.

Be a Twitter Ninja: Understanding Retweets
Be a Twitter Ninja: Understanding Retweets

Twitter overhauls Retweeting to make it easier, faster, and cleaner.ONE OF THE best ways to move information around Twitter by “retweeting.” Retweeting allows you to echo the tweet of another user, plucking the message from their home feed and sending it out to their followers.Retweets are sweet. But retweets are also sloppy and cumbersome.

War On Terror: Fun For The Whole Family
War On Terror: Fun For The Whole Family

All I want to know, is why didn’t I hear about this before Christmas?Everyone starts with the best intentions. Then you notice your neighbour has more oil than you. Before long, war is waged, nukes are dropped, revolutions are fought and terrorists are doing your dirty work, before turning on you…This is the War on Terror, the boardgame: A quality boardgame for 2 – 6 players, lovingly illustrated and politically correct (in a very literal sense).

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Submitting To Online Travel Magazines
The Do’s And Don’ts Of Submitting To Online Travel Magazines

Study these practical tips and you’ll have your travel writing published in no time.The life of a travel writer is framed with romantic notions of wandering the globe, notebook in hand, jotting down experiences and interviews in exotic locations.Every day is filled with uncertainty. Work itself is an adventure.

Musings On Mortality
Musings On Mortality

The following is from my previous personal blog, written just after the London tube bombings in summer 2005. I’m republishing it here because I felt it extended a previous post on irrational fears while traveling.I wonder about mortality.My friend confessed she has panic attacks while sitting on the tube in London.

Heather Carreiro wins IFWTWA Award
Heather Carreiro wins IFWTWA Award

Heather Carreiro, in Pakistan. Photo by Duarte CarreiroHeather Carreiro is the second MatadorU grad to win IFWTWA Award.Heather Carreiro graduated from MatadorU in February 2010 and subsequently joined the Matador team as a regular writer and editorial intern. We didn’t even have the chance to announce that she’s also been promoted to the editor of Matador Abroad (former editor, Sarah Menkedick, has transitioned into the full-time editor-in-chief position with Matador’s Glimpse Correspondents Program and the Glimpse site) before we received some more good news: Heather just won the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association’s scholarship, awarded annually to an emerging writer in these genres.

Notes on Riding Palestinian Buses
Notes on Riding Palestinian Buses

On buses in the West Bank, Robert Hirschfield learns how a Jew can fear other Jews.I WAS WARNED. Then, I was treated to fits of Jewish hand wringing in the classical style. But mainly I was warned.The fuss was caused whenever Israelis heard I was traveling to the West Bank on Palestinian buses to interview Palestinians.

Where’s Your Spot On The Global Rich List?
Where’s Your Spot On The Global Rich List?

I came across an interesting website recently called Global Rich List where you can type in your annual income (in a variety of currencies) and find out approximately, just how “rich” you are in comparison to the rest of the world.The website is a simple but effective reminder of how little it actually takes to inhabit the top 10 of the world’s richest.

Discover Hidden Discount Airfares With AirNinja.com
Discover Hidden Discount Airfares With AirNinja.com

Please note: This is a sponsored review.The mantra of today’s air traveler seems to be “just get me there.” No frills, extra pillows, peanuts, or other perks must get in the way of the cheapest airfare possible. The industry is at each other’s throats weekly, each airline trying to undercut the other.

Ask The Readers: Why Do You Blog?
Ask The Readers: Why Do You Blog?

One of the many crowd’s at the blog conference held at UBC this weekend.Darren Barefoot posed this question in advance of his discussion at Northern Voice, a blogging conference I attended this weekend in Vancouver, BC.He expected a few hundred replies to his online survey. He got over a thousand, answering questions like “Why Did You Start Blogging?

Caribbean & Mexico “12 Days of Travel” Holiday Giveaway
Caribbean & Mexico “12 Days of Travel” Holiday Giveaway

Got this press release via DiamondPR, who reps 9 Marriotts in the Caribbean and Mexico. They’ve teamed up with CheapOair to run a travel giveaway called “12 Days of Travel”; details are below:The “12 days of Travel” will begin at noon on Wednesday, December 1 (today) and will end at noon on Monday, December 13.

Ask Adventure Doc: What are Bed Bugs?
Ask Adventure Doc: What are Bed Bugs?

Feature photo by puroticorico / Above photo by stuartpilbrowBed bugs have been causing problems for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Here’s what you can (and can’t) do about it.Bed bugs, or Cimex Lectularius feed on human blood. They can be found virtually everywhere on the planet and do not care how many stars your hotel room is rated.

Notes on Pimping Life and Death
Notes on Pimping Life and Death

I live in the world rather as a spectator of mankind than as one of the species.–Joseph Addison, essayist and poet (1672-1719)I AM A VOYEUSE. I have been a watcher since I was five and my mother went mad in our kitchen.Her terrible wordless singing carried into the bedroom. I turned the pages of a coloring book slowly, my eyes tethered to a bunny, a white house, a parrot in a tree.

Matador Takes Chicago: Post Meet-up Report
Matador Takes Chicago: Post Meet-up Report

Joseph, Jason and CrystalChicago, as any Chicagoan will tell you, is the coldest place on Earth.Never mind science. It just is, and reason isn’t invited in this claim. But it’s not that which makes Chicago so unique. It’s that it doesn’t matter if it is or isn’t the coldest place on Earth – people will still go out on a cold night to meet with each other and share a little warmth.

Boxed Water is Better
Boxed Water is Better

Now that I live in an area where the tap water doesn’t taste like it was poured straight from the drain of a swimming pool, I’ve been trying to break myself of the dirty, city-dwelling habit of buying bottled water. It’s expensive, it sucks for the environment, and it isn’t any better for your health.

My Hometown in 500 Words: Mumbai
My Hometown in 500 Words: Mumbai

Photos by Sejal SaraiyaSejal Saraiya reflects on a moment in her hometown of Mumbai as part of an assignment for MatadorU.Beads of sweat develop on his forehead as he smears a generous lump of fresh green chutney onto two slices of bread. It is a busy day for him, Mondays usually are. Young boys huddle around his tiny wooden booth in their school uniforms—pants folded to keep the sand off their clothes–so that their parents don’t find out about their furtive excursion to the beach.